March 08, 2011

Preparation for Lent

Photo by WondrousPilgrim
  

At Mass last Sunday (that is two Sundays before the start of Lent), Father preached about the the Lenten disciplines. He was wonderfully frank and blunt: we need to change, and this is our chance to try.  Pick your discipline that counteracts one of your vices.

A few years ago--the first year I was here in DC--I was so stressed about work and life and so forth that I just gave up meat, because it was easy: I didn't have to think about it, I just did it.  It was difficult--certainly--but it didn't require much willpower.

I've been thinking long and hard about what I should give up for lent, as a result. One of the things I am very bad about is planning my day well.  From dawn to dusk I rearrange my day based on the most trivial things: lying in bed too long to catch the early bus.  Buying coffee rather than making it. Buying dinner because I'm so hungry when I get off the metro that I can't wait the 10 minutes more it will take for me to get home.

So this year, I am going to take away my two get-out-of-jail-free crutches: transportation + eating out.  I'm skipping on taxi cabs, and, on my evening commute I won't be taking the bus. (I just won't ever get to work if I skimp on my morning bus. It's a fact.)

And, I won't be eating out on either leg of my commute.  I don't want to give up eating out entirely; I love the DC food culture. But I want to eliminate the reliance I have on grabbing coffee on my way to work instead of drinking perfectly good coffee at home (or, and this is a real penance, drinking the stuff they have at the office).  Dinner is worse, since there are really only so many times a girl can have a falafel sandwich.

Now I need to go buy better walking shoes...

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